Author: Neal Schusterman; Narrator: Luke Daniels
Publish date: 2007
"The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive." (Goodreads)
Even though Unwind came out in 2007, I had not heard of it until earlier this year when Elizabeth from Don't Take my Books Away had it in a couple of her Top Ten Tuesdays. I was totally intrigued by the premise and knew I had to read it. I listened to the audiobook version instead of print and was pretty happy with my choice.
This book was, in a word, disturbing. I could not believe that parents would choose to unwind their kids after having raised them for the previous thirteen years, at the least. Risa and Lev being unwound made sense, being a ward of the state and a tithe, but it was pretty harsh of Connor's parents to have made that choice. Disturbing as the book was, it was still really entertaining with lots of action. There was never a dull moment, which made for a great audiobook.
As scary and far off as the plot might seem, I think it raises some really great discussion points, especially for young people to have. Unwind would make a great read aloud book for my English classes, given its universal appeal, and would definitely lead to great writing and discussion opportunities. One scene in particular would be a great example of "show, don't tell" and if you've read Unwind, you probably know exactly which one I'm talking about.
I was pleased overall with the audiobook and Luke Daniels's narration. The book's point of view switches around between the three main characters and some others and Daniels did a great job differentiating between them all. The sequel to Unwind just came out, Unwholly, which I think I will also be listening to via audio. Anyone else read Unwind?